Archive for Australian Black Metal

Adamus Exul – Death, Paint A Vision [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Adamus Exul
Album: Death Paint A Vision
Release year: 2010
Genre: Black Metal

Australia is a typical tourist destination due to it’s wonderful sights and hot weather – Too hot for frostbitten music like black metal one would think, however, this is not the case because in the shadows of Australia’s tourist destinations lies an ever brutal, ever frostbitten, ever extreme black metal scene and at the heart of that scene are Adamus Exul.

The first track of “Death, Paint A Vision” is called “Dreams Of Desolation”. Even at a low volume, the listener’s ears are savagely assaulted by a great mix of guitars and double bass pedals. The vocals are strong, raw and beasty – As is to be expected of any black metal band. Interestingly, there are some slightly melodic sections which keeps the track entertaining. The drums are precise, almost machine-like though still barbaric and face-smashingly heavy.

”Ruins Of Zion” mixes melody with sheer aggression in its introduction whilst the rest of the track seems to favour straight forward brutality over melody, though this is not a bad thing for fans of no-holds-barred black metal. The use of a speech over is certainly unexpected but fits in well with the theme of the song. The vocal section that follows sounds very much like Dimmu Borgir and a casual listener to black metal would certainly make the mistake of believing it to be Shagarth. Another interesting section of this track is the short section that sounds very much like a breakdown of some sort.

The title track, “Death, Paint A Vision” favours a melodic yet bone smashing approach at the beginning. The drums add to the savagery of the track, whilst the vocals help it sound more beastly. Whilst the title of the track is somewhat poetic and intelligent, the track itself is the complete opposite, bombarding the listener with bloodthirsty riffs and demonic-like vocals. “Death, Paint A Vision” is very much like an old-skool Gorgoroth track in sections due to the fast tempos and sheer aggressive brutality. “In Absentia” is the half way point of the album and the interlude. Shockingly, “In Absentia” is acoustic though the acoustic guitar is a welcome change for those tired of orchestrated interludes.

“Echoes Of Self Destruction” tears its way through the album next, beginning with a frightening and hellish introduction of pounding guitars and drums. The vocals are more aggressive and unholy-sounding as well, mixing well with the demonic essence of the track. Though “Echoes Of Self Destruction”, there are small sections of melodic guitar licks every now and then which do keep the track interesting. The use of acoustic guitar returns as well, adding a certain calmness to the hurricane-like force of black metal, though this calm doesn’t long before the hurricane returns. “Abhorrent Euchrist” changes the style of the album a bit, bring a more melodic use to the album, which is both weird and refreshing. Even the vocals have changed, sounding more raspy, to fit in with the melodic stylings of the track. Drums still sound good despite becoming somewhat lighter for this track and the guitars seem to have less distortion. Fortunately for those who prefer black metal screams over raspy vocals, the screams make a triumphant return towards the end of “Abohorrent Euchrist”.

The final piece of the album is the song “Ashes” which like the previous song, begins melodically. However, “Ashes” brings back the raw aggression and savagery found on the rest of the album. The sound on this track seems to be more raw and barbaric with everything sounding like they have more punch. Interestingly, the acoustic guitar, once again, returns but combined with some majorly angry growls, making for a strange yet brilliantly created sound. Unfortunately, the sound doesn’t last for long. A military styled drum roll also makes an appearance, working well alongside the raw guitar riffs.

Adamus Exul bring a new sound to black metal with “Death, Paint A Vision” whilst sticking to an old skool Norwegian black metal sound as well. Most of the tracks are reminiscent of the early black metal scene in Norway while containing a fresh feel. Adamus Exul are certainly a band to keep an ear out for because they could be dominating more than Australian metal scene soon enough.


Nico Davidson

Woods of Desolation – Torn Beyond Reason [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 28th February 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Woods of Desolation
Album: Torn Beyond Reason
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal

“Torn Beyond Reason” is the second full-length release by Australian Black Metal duo “Woods of Desolation”.

The album begins with the title track “Torn Beyond Reason”. The track starts with a slow, high-pitched clean guitar riff mixed with slow, pounding drums which soon increase their pace when a high pitched wail comes in. The vocals are rough and raw compared to the cleanness if the guitars. The drums sound as if they’ve just been added on to the track for the sake of trying to make it heavy and brutal. The guitars go slightly distorted for a while on the track and the use of constant double bass pedal ruins the track.

“Darker Days” is next. It begins with acoustic guitar, which does little to set a mood for black metal. Distorted guitars and drums come in soon after. The drums, again sound as if they’ve just been added in for the sake of heaviness and brutality as they overpower the guitars too much on this track. There is a slight use of an eerie sounding  choir alongside the harsher vocals, which adds a certain atmosphere to the track. The track isn’t any better than the previous one. Next is “An Unbroken Moment” which begins with a drum intro followed by fast-paced distorted guitars. The music completely overpowers the vocals, which sound like the faded screaming of a damned soul. The guitar riff is repetitive throughout most of the track, aside from a slow atmospheric section halfway through created by synthesisers and samples.

“The Inevitable End” comes after. It’s the longest track on the album. It begins with a slow guitar and drum intro, with a few tom-rolls here and there.  The vocals strong less faded on this track. It takes a while for the track to speed up its pace and when it does, there is no improvement in the quality of composition of the track. The guitars sound too soft, same with the drums. “November” comes right after, beginning with an acoustic guitar intro, which lasts for half of the track. The other half of the track is dominated by distorted guitars and drums. It’s a mediocre track at best.

“Somehow” is the last track and the album and it has somewhat of an old-skool sound to it, in terms of the composition. The use of an eerie choir makes an appearance again, giving some atmosphere and mystique to the track. The track does turn slightly heavier after the vocals have come in and the pace does increase but like the rest of the album, it is pretty poor for black metal.

“Torn Beyond Reason” is, without a doubt, an awfully composed album. It lacks thee raw energy and brutality one expects to find on a black metal album. Some of the production values are too good for black metal and the drums need more work. This would have probably been better as a demo, rather than a full-length release.


Nico Davidson